Book: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1)
Author: A.K. Larkwood
Genre: SFF (Science-Fiction/Fantasy)
Release Date: 11th February 2020
Purchase Link: Book Depository
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
I’d love to start this by saying that whilst the queer rep does not apply to me, I’m glad it’s a queer author writing queer characters! It’s what Own Voices basically is, so that is amazing.
And the book was amazing! I found it a bit hard to get into but I think that was more to do with the slump I was in than anything else, but around 100 pages… I was fully immersed in the absolutely stunning writing by Larwood! The characters were interesting, had their development and there’s action! (Also romance… of course!)
I loved that the book was defy the expectations and follow your own destiny trope! It’s not one I’ve read often but I want more now! Not just that, but this book always had the basic underlying tone screaming “you have a choice!” And that in itself is beautifully handled, because whilst the concept is fantastic, we all know how difficult it actually is to make a choice! Well, I assume we do anyway… I mean, I’ll stare at my bookshelf for two hours trying to decide and make a choice on which book I want to read and still pick nothing. Or is that just me? Anyhow… this book handled the concept wonderfully… not just the actual choice aspect but the consequences that often arise from a decision you made.
Freedom and choice- alongside loyalty and love- were amongst the most dominant themes in the book and they were wonderfully handled! I loved the dynamic between the characters too, especially Csorwe and Shuthmili- it’s wonderful to see the characters develop and maintain an impactful arc through the story, and Larkwood handled it beautifully!
All in all, I’d love to read more of Csorwe and I can’t wait for the next book!
My one disappointment was that I got bored once or twice during the storytelling, maybe due to me binge reading it, but there were aspects that didn’t fully capture my attention.
And finally, thank you so much to Jamie-Lee for an ARC of this wonderful book! I can’t wait to see the sequel!